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Potential "Dairy Cliff" if Congress Doesn't Renew Farm Legislation

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 28 2012 07:14:28 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 28 2012 07:48:45 PM CST

Beyond the fiscal cliff, some are worried that milk prices could skyrocket in what is being called the "dairy cliff."

Reporter Tyler May went to a local grocery store to reach out to consumers.

Shopper Bill Rumble said he buys three to four gallons of milk per week at $3.50 per gallon. But Rumble could be paying double that price if congress does not renew the current farm bill by next Tuesday.

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Potential "Dairy Cliff" if Congress Doesn't Renew Farm Bill

These potentially augmenting dairy prices -- or "dairy cliff" -- could have a major impact on the dairy industry by forcing people to take milk out of their diet.

The average price for a gallon of milk is around $3.50 but if the bill does not pass, it could rise up to seven dollars per gallon. This is a better price for the dairy farmers -- for a while.

"I would actually make some money for a while because it has been hard since '08," Dairy Farmer Chris Verboom said. He and his family have owned dairy farms in Orland for the past 22 years.

Verboom produces more than 6,500 gallons of milk per day.

He said that he knows that the dairy cliff would hardly be a cash cow, but he said he would enjoy some of the initial extra cash.

"Milk consumption would go south and then we would overproduce and that would affect the price again," Verboom said. "It would probably have to drop quite a bit."

As of right now, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture does not have a back-up plan should the farm bill fail.